Being Happily Frustrated is a Thing

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Every single night Monday through Friday, I make dinner.. we go for a long walk.. we put my son to bed. Two minutes into hitting the bed, he passes out and remains passed out until the morning. Tonight was different. You see, tonight, we had a friend over. Overcome by the excitement of seeing a face  other than mom and dad’s, my son jumped from couch cushion to couch cushion showing off for our friend. Eventually his bed time arrived, so I prepared him milk and took him to bed as I always do. Seconds after tiptoing away, the screaming began. I knew he was tired. I knew he was ready for bed. I also knew that he was filled with excitement for the small change in routine. I went to his room and decided that tonight I would rock my baby to sleep as I did when he was just a little guy. As I held him in his rocking chair, listening to the sound of his sleepy sighs, I couldn’t help but to smile at the fact that my little boy was simply so happy that he could not bare the thought of sleep. I find myself doing this constantly through out each day.. smiling at something slightly frustrating that my son does. I mean, of course I wanted my son to go to sleep. I had had a long day with him and was tired myself, and wanted him to easily fall asleep just as he would any other night… But his little baby brain was filled with so much happiness at the fact that we had a visitor. Who was I to be upset about that?

Just yesterday, my husband and I watched as my son learned to climb the couch. And I don’t just mean climb on to the couch.. I mean climb up and walk around and climb over and crawl under the couch. He will go from one end of the sectional to the other, running as fast as his little baby legs will carry him, laughing the entire way as my husband and I hold our breaths in frightened anticipation of a fall. Initially, I had told my son no. No couch, no couch, I told him repeatedly for fear of having him fall off. But then I realized that he is a baby and the couch is new and walking is new and the world is new and he just wants to explore it all. And so I let the climbing begin. I obviously monitor him, however, I let him run free for the most part… and free he runs. I have never seen that boy happier than when he pounces around on those cushions. It is scary and it was originally somewhat frustrating… but it is also adorable and for that, it makes me happy.

We have recently found that my son seems to be really working his “problem solving skills” as well. He has had an obsession with the light switch for his closet since he could see what it was. For months I have watched him stand on the floor looking up at it with interest. The other day I was doing dishes in the kitchen, and decided that my son was far too quiet for my comfort levels. I went to his room and discovered that he had climbed on top of his play table and had managed to finally reach the light switch that he had longed for. My initial reaction was to lunge towards him in fear that he would fall off. My following reaction was to be absolutely amazed and proud at his newly found problem solving skills. I eventually took him down, but only after spending a few minutes standing next to him watching the pure joy on his face as he flipped the light on and off.

Then there was the diaper incident. Anything titled the diaper incident just cannot be good. Ever. My son has been struggling with a bad diaper rash recently, and my husband and I have tried our best to change each diaper within minutes of soiling. But sometimes you’re busy being a mom/housewife and you’re cooking dinner while simultaneously doing laundry and you just cannot change your babies diaper at that very second in time. So.. my son took matters into his own hands. He removed his diaper, and the discovery went a little something like…

husband: nooooooo… liam took his diaper off! Pooooooooop. Pooooooop! Hellllppppp!

You can fill in the details from there. We found ourselves so initially frustrated at the fact that he would remove his dirty diaper in the middle of the living room.. then, we realized.. it was really intelligent for him to recognize the problem and figure out what to do about it. I’m by no means saying that I find it appropriate for my son to take his dirty diaper off in the middle of the room, however, I can recognize how smart it was for him to recognize that his dirty diaper was causing his discomfort and that the solution would be to get rid of the dirty diaper. Again, slightly frustrating… but pretty freaking smart.

Since the beginning, we knew that our son would be a testy little one. He does not like boundaries, he laughs at the word no, and he enjoys doing things that he knows he shouldn’t. He has the energy of 5 babies and the charm of a puppy (along with the desire to eat out of a trashcan like a puppy). He is sometimes frustrating and nerve wracking and daring but he is also the most adorable thing I have ever seen and he fills me with so much joy that I find myself with goosebumps at the thought of how happy he makes me.

In my entire life, I would have never paired the words happy and frustrating… These were always two entirely different emotions to me. Then I became a mom. Children will test you. They will push you to your farthest limits. But they will also make you smile bigger than you ever thought possible. They will make you cry with happiness. They will make you live in the moment, and they will open your eyes to how quickly each day passes. You find yourself staring at the perfect little human that you created, and no matter how frustrated they may make you, at the end of the day, they are still your perfect little human.

Cheers,

T.W.C

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One. One. One.

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Exactly one year ago, I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my husband, when I suddenly felt that I was sitting in a puddle of wet. Overcome with embarrassment, I ran to the bathroom thinking that my “pregnancy bladder” had caused me to pee myself. It wasn’t until five minutes later when water was still dripping out of me that I realized I was in labor. My husband and I each took a quick shower, and scurried off to the hospital. I arrived at already 6 cm dilated. None of the nurses believed that I was in labor because of how calm I was, and they were even more shocked when they realized how close to being fully dilated I already was. 1 epidural and a few pushes later, my 6.5 lb baby boy was in my arms. This first year has been filled with every emotion on the spectrum, but most of all, it has been filled with happiness. Today is about celebrating an amazing first year of my son’s life, and surviving our first year of parenthood! Heres to many more.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Rants of a stay at home mom.

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Being a stay at home mom is such a blessing, and I am so thankful that I can be at home with my son every day. As much as it is a blessing, it is also far more of a challenge than most give it credit for. I remember while pregnant, telling my husband “being a stay at home mom is going to be easy! The house will always be clean and I will have everything done, and dinner will be on the table as you walk in the door!”.

Riiiiiighhhhht…

The most “cleaning” that gets done during the day happens when I put two dishes in the dishwasher before my son notices and comes wobbling over in an attempt to crawl inside the dishwasher. And my son LOVES helping me fold laundry… as in.. he likes grabbing the newly folded piles and tossing them all over the floor. What about during naptime you say? Naptime is for showering, answering emails, kind of trying to make myself presentable looking, trying to make food without waking my son, and on especially exhausting days, nap time is well… for napping. My son is a little ball of  one year old energy and if I’m not playing with him, staring at him, or within reaching distance of him, there.. will.. be.. trouble.

Oh but it doesn’t end there. I also work from home. I take care of all new customer accounts, processing wholesale orders, and managing social media for Ulubulu Baby Products. If you’ve spent as much time at Target as I do, I’m sure you’ve seen our products in the baby aisles. It’s incredibly difficult sometimes to be a stay at home mom while also working from home, but I have been so blessed with this opportunity and I mean, you can never have too many free pacifiers, right?

It gets better! I’m also attending college! I’m taking 2-3 online classes per semester, slowly working my way towards a psychology degree. So somewhere in between being a mom, wife, and employee, I also have to find time to be a student. Need I explain why I usually wake up exhausted?

My life has become a giant balancing act between baby, work, play, school, family, and friends. It is stressful and chaotic, but it is also incredibly rewarding. At the end of the day I might have a few emails that will go unopened until tomorrow. I might have a sink full of dishes, and a couch full of laundry loads that I just could.not.bring myself to fold. I might be tired and overdue for a pedicure. I might take a few too many days to write a new blog post, and I might only skim read my school assignment. Dinner might be 30 minutes behind schedule and missing a main food group. But at the end of the day, my son is happy, my husband is happy, and I am happy. And that’s really all I need.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Family photos: tougher than they appear

Last weekend we finally had our family photos done! I have been planning these photos in my head for the last 7 months. Yeah yeah, don’t make fun of me. We are so very happy with how they turned out. If you live in the Las Vegas area and are interested in our photographer, please let me know and I would be happy to send you her way. Going into these photos, I was so nervous that my son wouldn’t behave. What do you know… he didn’t! He was so amused by the surrounding area that he did not want us to hold him, even for a second. We had a great time playing with him outside, but leaving the session I was feeling like we didn’t quite get any of the images that I had envisioned in my head for months. Then she sent us our photos… and I was absolutely blown away. I couldn’t be happier with these, and I couldn’t be happier to share them with you!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Spoiled… And I’m not referring to the baby.

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I never realize JUST how spoiled I am until my husband is away on business. Trash? You mean I.. I..Have to take.. out.. the trash…?  And don’t get me started on the lack of relief. My husband normally gets home between 5:30 and 5:40, and I normally lose my shit around 5:35, so as he walks in the door, I pass our son off to him and take a few minutes to myself to regather my super mom abilities. Our system is like a perfectly oiled machine, keeping us each at the perfect level of “sane on the brink of mental patient” that every parent should be. Waking up every day for a week and knowing that there will be no relief or help of any kind at 5:35 can be quite a doozy.

Single moms and military wives: I don’t know how you do it.

Every Saturday my husband and I take our son to our community swimming pool. He carries my son and the ice chest, I carry the towels, beach bag, and floaty. Once we arrive, I hold our son while he sets up our “corner” in the shade. We then go in the pool, where I sit on the steps watching as my husband and son splash around the pool. My son eventually wants to play on the steps, and my husband and I take turns corralling him in so that he can’t make an escape for the scolding hot ground surrounding the pool. Needless to say, we have PERFECTED the art of taking an 11 month old to the pool.

Yesterday I decided I would conquer our pool with my son.. alone. I’ve done it enough time with my husband, that I figured going alone should be a piece of cake. I was feeling especially pumped for the day and could not have been more excited to have some one on one time with my little guy at the pool. We got ready and everything was going as planned.. until I realized that I only have two hands. It was time to make some sacrifices. I decided to part with the floaty and ice chest, and we were off! Things were going great.. until the second we got to the pool. I set my son down so that I could take my swim cover up off and BAM, he makes a break for the water. So there I am, swim cover up halfway off, one shoe on, chasing my son across the pool. Eventually we manage to get into the water, where we enjoy ourselves for all of… two minutes before he began to throw a fit because I wouldn’t let him play with someone else’s beach ball. The overly tan woman across the pool from us began to glare us down and within 10 minutes of arriving, we were leaving.

Returning home, I was disappointed with the experience to say the least. I decided I would not sulk however, and began getting us ready to go grab some lunch and run some errands. I put my son in his car seat and go to start the car… and what.do.you.know….my car battery is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Mind you.. we live in the desert. It was exactly 108 degrees outside, my husband is gone, and my car won’t start?!? Just my luck.

Fortunately my husband left his car keys at home while he was away, and I was able to transfer into his car and somewhat salvage the day. Although the day did not go as planned, when all was said and done, I did get to spend some quality one on one time with my little guy and somehow found the time to make an awesome dinner for the both of us. As difficult as my son can be, he is my little buddy. He’s just a whole lot easier of a little buddy when I’ve got some help!

Long story short, I am completely spoiled by my husband. I was once so independent, yet I  have become so accustomed to being spoiled and always having assistance with every little task. My husband will return home tomorrow, just in time for me to return the spoiling to him on Father’s Day. In the mean time, I’ve got a bag of trash to take out and a big glass of wine to sip on.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Camping with a baby: No. Just No.

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See that photo of the Zion coffee cup? Minutes later, this same **hot** cup of coffee was spilled all over my lap by my 11 month old. See that photo of my family happily smiling for the camera? Seconds later my 11 month old was in full blown tantrum mode because he couldn’t put leaves in his mouth. You’d never know it from these lovely photos but this. trip. sucked.

Ok, so I’m being slightly dramatic, it wasn’t entirely bad. There were parts of our trip to Zion National Park that were absolutely wonderful. But camping with a baby is a whole lot tougher than it sounds. I thought I was prepared for ANYTHING. I spent days and days before this trip making anal lists and packing bags. I thought of every possible situation that could arise and made sure that I would have a solution for it.

First situation to arise: I forgot the baby formula. Realizing this 2 hours into the trip, we were able to pull over at a grocery store and buy him a new box of formula, but of course only AFTER I spent a good 30 minutes beating myself up about it. Since formula is something that we were using up until the last minute, I left it on the counter. Note to future daring camping parents: buy an extra pack of formula and pack it up with everything else.

Second situation: I didnt….bring…my baby’s…BAG. Yeah thats right. I brought my bag, my husbands bag, our food, our games, our everything on the planet… except for my baby’s duffel bag. Worst mom award, right over here. As if I wasn’t feeling terrible enough about not packing my baby’s formula. Luckily I had packed a separate bag of diapers, toys, wipes, bottles, and one spare outfit; however his pajamas.. clothes.. everything else he might need.. were all left behind.

Third situation: turns out that babies don’t like tents. I take that back.. babies LOVE tents. So much so, that they refuse to sleep in them. In my fantasy situation of how the weekend would go, we would spend a great day playing in the great outdoors with our son, put him to bed, and have a great evening to ourselves around the campfire. Oh boy was I wrong. My son is an excellent sleeper.. at home. He typically falls asleep within 5 minutes with minimal assistance. I headed into the tend to put him to bed in his pack n play, and the second he’d finished his bottle he popped up and began to pounce around the tent. 20 minutes later my husband came it to relieve me. 20 minutes after that I went back in to relieve him. 20 minutes after that, my friend went in to relieve me. 20 minutes after that my husband came in to relieve me. And the story continues until 2 hours later my husband and I resorted to taking him for a drive. Within 2 minutes he was passed out. Oh but the story is not over yet. Three thirty AM…. the boy wakes. He spent the next 2 hours pouncing around the tent before finally passing back out on our blow up mattress. Seven AM… the boy rises. He continues to pounce until he removes the lid from a water jug and dumps it all over the bottom of the tent. Rise and shine.

Fourth situation: in case you weren’t sure.. there are no clean floors while camping. It sounds so logical, but when there is nowhere to set your baby, you’re limited as to what you can do. Babies as young as mine do not yet understand that they cannot eat that rock or lick that bird poop encrusted table. While I knew this going into the trip, I thought between the group of us, we could pass him around and entertain him enough that it wouldn’t matter. The problem is, babies don’t want to be held in the great outdoors…they want to explore it. This was entirely my fault, not his, but regardless, it presented quite the problem.

All of that being said.. we cut the trip short and came home after the first night.

I’m not telling EVERYBODY not to take their children camping. I’m sure some families could make it work. But you have been warned.. it is harder than you think. My best advice is to wait until your kids are older or rent an RV.

We did have some great times. We went for a lovely hike along the Virgin river, played in the water, and ate at some great little spots in town. But let’s just say, our next family trip will definitely take place in a hotel.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

And then there wasLiam.

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This weekend marked a very big event in our household: Our little man is walking. At 10 months old, my son is on the move, and I can’t help but reflect upon how quickly his life has passed so far. I was just going through photos of him as a newborn and couldn’t believe how fast time can fly. Reflecting back on these last 10 months, I feel so very blessed that our son is here with us today and that he is our healthy and happy little walking boy.  And to think we almost lost him.

At 22 weeks pregnant I went in for an ultrasound that I shouldn’t have even been at. The week before, I had been seen by the ultrasound tech in a routine exam. She had been unable to see my sons head because it was buried so far into my pelvis, and as a precaution she asked that I come in the following week in hopes that he would reposition himself.

My husband and I showed up to our follow up appointment dressed in our work clothes, thinking this would simply be a quick detour, we’d get some exciting new ultrasound pics, and head off to work for the day. Let’s just say I would have dressed much more comfortably if I’d known what was coming our way.

As soon as the ultrasound tech looked at the screen showing my cervix, I knew something was seriously wrong. She explained to us that my cervix measurements were far off of what they should be and let us know that she needed to go get a doctor right away.  The doctor came back and informed us that my cervix was at .9 and that I should have been at a 3.0 or higher.

I was then rushed to the hospital. A specialist came into my room and informed me that if he didn’t put a stitch in my cervix to hold it together, I would go into labor within hours. The problem was, my cervix had already shrunk down to a .7 and there was hardly any cervix left to work with. We were informed that there was about a 50/50 chance that simply carrying out the surgery could trigger labor, but we went ahead with it anyways, knowing it was our only chance at keeping our son safe inside of me.

Hours after surgery, I was being watched like a hawk. Doctors kept telling me to “rest up”, yet coming in and out of my room every 5 minutes. I was put on anti-contraction medication that needed to be taken strictly every 6 hours. I was also given hormone suppositories that were supposed to keep my uterus strong.

Let me tell you, stuck in a dark hospital room is the last place you want to be when you are 22 weeks pregnant and terrified that you will lose your baby. The entire situation brought me down to a very low place. I sat in my hospital bed sneaking cries in between nurse visits. I didn’t want to eat hospital food, I didn’t want to be hooked up to a million beeping machines, I didn’t want anymore doctors to come in and remind me that I had an incompetent cervix. All I wanted was to keep my baby safe.

For two weeks, I stayed in the hospital. I was there so long that it almost began to feel normal. I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed unless I had to pee. I was allowed one shower every three days but I had to be seated the entire time and it couldn’t be for longer than 5 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to sit up in bed unless it was to eat. I hadn’t stepped foot outside in 13 days and the doctors were toying with the idea of keeping me in the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. Finally one morning, I was informed that they would be checking my cervix and that if I had made progress, I could go home.

Four hours later, I was discharged. I was put on bed rest until 36 weeks pregnant. The only time I was allowed to leave the house was once a week for my doctors appointments. I swear, when the only time you’re allowed to leave the house is to go to the doctor, the doctor’s office feels like freakin disneyland.

Each time I went to the specialist, my cervix was looking better and better. The doctor told us that of all the years he has been practicing, our case was one of the biggest miracles he’s seen. I have never seen a doctor so shocked by his own successful work. Week after week went by, and we continued to surprise the doctor with the fact that I was still carrying my baby.

Bed rest was the biggest challenge that I have ever experienced. It is isolating and depressing and so very boring. I watched 3 entire series from start to finish on Netflix and I did more pinning on Pinterest than has ever been done before. I cried constantly in frustration of my situation, but each time I felt my son kick, I was reminded that it was all worth it.

Somehow, by complete miracle, I made it to 36 weeks. I had my stitches removed and was told that FINALLY, I could behave as a “normal” pregnant woman. I have never been so excited to walk around Target in my life!

Without the stitches holding my cervix together, I thought the time before my son’s arrival would be very brief. But he decided to hang out a little longer, and at 39 weeks, I finally went into labor naturally. But my labor story is for another day.

I thank god every day for my little miracle baby. I complained and I cried and I hated bed rest, but I know I am lucky. I will be on bed rest from 12 weeks until 36 weeks with any future children that I carry, but I will happily do it all over again if it means that I am blessed enough to bring another life into this world. Every woman goes into pregnancy with fear of the unknown and the unexpected. But I never could have for seen the severity of the challenge coming my way. My husband and family stood strong and supportive by my side, and together, with the help of some very special doctors, we were able to bring my son into this world.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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And so it all begins

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I feel as though writing your first blog post is like starting a new job. You don’t really know what you’re doing, but you fake it until eventually you catch on. I’m sure I will eventually look back at this post and laugh at how clearly confused I am, but for now let’s just go with it.

My main hope for this blog is that some mommy, somewhere, will sit down with her glass of wine at the end of a long day, stumble upon my blog, and find comfort in knowing that I lived a very similar day.

I am a new mommy. I don’t know what I’m doing. My mom passed away while I was in high school, my dad is not a part of my life, and my husband’s parents are as equally non existent as far as help goes. I base all of my mommy knowledge off of several years of teaching at a preschool, google, and whatever other moms on the internet are doing! My parenting technique is mostly trial and error, but I am pretty darn proud of how I’ve done so far. My husband and I are stumbling our way through our son’s first year of life about as gracefully as a new parent can.

As I new mom, I found so much comfort in the knowledge of other mommies. I would stare at mommy blogs and mom chat forums and moms in movies and moms on facebook and wonder “how the f- does she make it look so easy?”. The answer is in the question: she is making it LOOK easy. Motherhood is messy and it is exhausting and it is scary, and it is also the most rewarding thing you will ever do. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re making it look easy.. what matters is that your little one is happy and you are happy and your family is happy. I feel as though the more you let go of the idea of “making it look easy”, the easier it actually becomes.

Cheers,

T.W.C.